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Customer Review

22 of 31 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Experienced or committed gamers who like rolling dice only., 16 Feb. 2010
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Experienced or committed gamers who like rolling dice only.

This is a quick 100,000 feet what you need to know (mainly written for non game geekers):

This game takes at least 3 hours with experienced gamers. If you are not an experienced game player expect it to take 4 to 5 hours. It is NOT for the casual gamer.

It is a cult hit: appealing to readers of Lovecraft's horror books and adventure board gamers. It's popularity and support from the publisher has led to an additional 8 add-ons.

The board game itself comes with over 1000 pieces and looks truly great. Truly, deeply great.

However,

The game mechanics while fine in the adventure gaming market - are very poor when compared with games such as Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Porto Rico, Steam and Carcassonne. The game mechanics can be criticised for being repetitive, providing very limited ability to make meaningful decisions and overly predicated on rolling dice... lots and lots of rolling dice. Add to this a significant although not unreasonable, for adventure games, rulebook.

While this game looks outstanding it is not for people who expect elegant game play.

Before buying ask yourself if can you say yes to all these questions:

Are you a mature teenager or adult?
Do you want to play a game that lasts 4 hours?
Are you an experienced or committed game player?
Do you like adventure games?
Do you LOVE rolling dice?
Are you willing to read and re-read the rulebook?
Are you willing to play this by yourself or if not do you know other people who can answer yes to these questions?
Are you happy to play an inelegant game?

I answered: Yes, Not really, Yes, Not really, Not really, Yes, Not really, Not really.
Therefore I shouldn't have bought this game and I regret it now. That said if you answered YES you, like many others, will love it.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Apr 2010 15:07:21 BDT
Mister Terne says:
I'd like to know what "inelegent" means in this context since your review provides no clarification of this vague criticism.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jun 2010 23:52:00 BDT
Hi Mr Felt,

I concede that the 'inelegant' label is, while widely used in gaming circles, a rather vague criticism. I do not use this term to claim that the game is objectively inelegant. What I mean to say instead is that in comparison with the fairly wide range of games I play I find this game inelegant. I feel that it is a mishmash of different rules and mechanisms, which are often counter intuitive or provide very little additional value to gameplay. As mentioned in the review "The game mechanics can be criticised for being repetitive, providing very limited ability to make meaningful decisions and overly predicated on rolling dice" - this to me points to an inelegant game. This said many gamers, I see from your review yourself included, disagree with me - you can live in my dream if i can live in yours.

Posted on 31 Jan 2013 15:38:36 GMT
Lilikin says:
Did this guy just compare Arkham to Settlers of Catan................

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jul 2013 14:53:49 BDT
Just a thought: rolling dice to determine success or failure at an attempted action does not make the outcome random . Example: I'm far more likely to roll a 1-5 on one six-sided dice than I am to roll a 6 on one dice. The 'meaningful decisions' in Arkham Horror are the choice of when to make the dice roll - do I fight this monster, which requires me to roll a 5 or 6 on one die; or do I attempt to obtain this item which requires me to roll a 5 or 6 on four dice? - and how to manipulate a character's statistics in order to maximize that character's chances at different tasks. The game can be chaotic, but the core mechanic (statistical manipulation) is actually quite elegant, and works really well.
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